Sun+, the digital offering from The Sun, has reached 117,000 subscribers since it erected a paywall in August. Of those, 102,000 are digital subscribers and 15,000 prepay for Sun+ as part of their daily print purchase.
The Sun and Sun+ (print and digital) have a combined average daily total paid sales of 2.2m, reportedly down 6.5% year on year. This fall is perhaps more pronounced when we take into consideration that there were no digital sales last year.
David Dinsmore, editor of The Sun, said: ‘No one else has sought to charge for digital access to a mass audience newspaper, and, though it’s early days, we are encouraged by the strong start achieved by The Sun’.
The Guardian reports that the Daily Mail has overtaken The Sun as the biggest-selling Saturday newspaper. While The Sun remains the biggest selling daily across six days, the Daily Mail outsells it by over 20,000 copies on Saturday.
News UK’s full offering of titles achieve an average of 2.75m sales a day. In November, The Times had 527,000 average daily sales, including casual purchases. This is up 1.9% from June 2010 when the paper started charging for all formats. The Times and The Sunday Times have a digital audience (in one form or another) of 360,000.
Mike Darcey, CEO of News UK said: ‘The paid-for model is firmly established and working well at the Times and Sunday Times and is now off to a great start at The Sun, with much more to come’.
The exclusive ‘clips’ deals News UK titles has made with the Barclays Premier League and Scottish Premiership are seen as a sporting coup and part of the driving force behind the digital subscriptions. News UK is adding to their offering with clips from the UEFA Champions League available from 2015, and England friendlies and FA Cup ties from 2014.